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ARACY Report Card confirms many Australian children get a poor

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					Media Release                                                               21 October
2008

  ARACY Report Card confirms many Australian children get a poor start in life,
             yet progress is being made, says national charity

Too many Australian children still do not have a good beginning in life because of the
wide range of difficulties parents face during children’s early years, according to a
national charity that provides practical, community-based support and programs for
parents and young children.

Commenting on today’s Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY)
Report Card on children’s wellbeing, Good Beginnings Australia national director Jayne
Meyer Tucker said the report quantifies and highlights the challenges already familiar to
non-government organisations (NGOs) working with children and families.

“Good Beginnings is particularly concerned with the wellbeing of babies and young
children and their parents, because a child’s early years are the most crucial in ensuring
they can grow into well adjusted, educated, healthy, productive, caring adults,” Ms
Meyer Tucker said.

“Through Good Beginnings’ 29 programs around Australia, our staff and volunteers see
evidence every day that there is work to be done in supporting, educating and
encouraging parents to provide them with the knowledge, practical skills, community
networks and confidence to raise their children well.

“Yet while some of the Report Card’s statistics are alarming, it’s important to recognise
that NGOs like Good Beginnings are already making a significant difference to
Australian mums, dads and children, improving the chances of young Australians
getting a good beginning,” she said.

Ms Meyer Tucker, whose experience in the sector most recently included six years as
director of the United Kingdom’s Sure Start program, said Good Beginnings hoped to
expand its programs further and was encouraged by the Rudd government’s
supportive stance for the sector.

“We are also heartened by the positive outcomes Good Beginnings is achieving for the
clients in its programs, which range from parenting education, fathering initiatives and
supported play groups to intensive family support and culturally sensitive programs in
Indigenous communities,” she said.
 “Children are a worthy investment. Evidence shows that good quality early childhood
intervention programs addressing parenting and early learning experiences for children
provide life-time returns on investment of 17 per cent each year.”
                                        ENDS
For further information on Good Beginnings, visit www.goodbeginnings.net.au
For media enquiries, please contact:
Carol Moore, Moore Public Relations: 02 9560 2826, 0402 382 363,
carolmoore@moorepr.com.au

				
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